Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Is tonic water considered a healthy drink? According to Dr. Sean O’Keefe, professor in the Department of Food Science at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, “quinine was the first successful drug used to treat human infectious disease. Schweppes Tonic Water began in 1783 as the world's original soft drink. It’s actually a drug that’s used to treat malaria and other diseases. Saturated Fat 0 g 0%. Total Fat 0 g 0%. Drinking a few ounces of tonic water shouldn't be harmful, but it isn't likely to prevent your leg cramps. nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps, rarely, serious complications like altered mental status, kidney damage, changes in heart rhythms, bleeding problems, seizures and allergic reactions, increased risk of gaining weight and developing obesity. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits quinine content in tonic water to no more than 83 parts per million. The science isn’t there for tonic water or quinine to treat these conditions. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) The small amounts of quinine found in tonic water are not enough to help treat diseases or symptoms like leg cramps. Historically, quinine/cinchona bark was used to prevent and treat the disease malaria. Tonic water is also a relatively high-calorie, high-sugar drink that is often made with high fructose corn syrup or aspartame and artificial sweeteners if it’s “diet tonic water.” Drinking sweetened drinks can contribute to weight gain and blood sugar imbalances if consumed in large amounts, especially if mixed with alcohol, juices and other sugary ingredients. Consumption of sugary drinks in general is linked with health problems, including: If you drink lots of tonic water you may experience the same quinine side effects mentioned above, such as nausea, indigestion, etc. Some manufacturers also produce diet (or slimline) tonic water, which may contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. How safe is quinine in tonic water? With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. This compound is considered one of the first effective malaria drugs, although it’s not commonly used today. Quinine is still given in in small doses to treat malaria in tropical regions. A liter normally has 83 mg of quinine. Unfortunately the actual dosage level possible in any amount of gin (or gin and tonic) is quite low, and it would require roughly 100 gin and tonics a day for a week to successfully treat any malaria case (though at this level alcohol poisoning is a much more likely side effect). Drinking tonic water with quinine for cramps could provide relief November 13, 2011; Transformation of quinine from miracle drug to tasty tonic water November 6, 2011; Is it safe to drink too much tonic water with quinine October 30, 2011; Get your facts right on the dangers of tonic water with quinine October 28, 2011; Get Quinine October 6, 2011 You may also be advised against taking quinine or drinking tonic water if you: While a gin and tonic and vodka and tonic are staples at any bar, tonic water is becoming a more versatile beverage. It Works Cleanse Review: Does It Help with Weight Loss? It’s now mixed with tequila, brandy, and just about any other alcoholic beverage. The 5 Bite Diet Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss? Quinine is still used to treat malaria today, although doctors typically reserve it for cases when the pathogen responsible for the disease displays resistance to … ), Are Oats Gluten-Free? Trans Fat 0 g 0%. However, tonic water isn’t just used to mix with spirits. Its founder, Jacob Schweppe, was drawn to the new art of carbonating beverages, so he refined and patented his own process of creating mineral water. See a doctor instead and explore other options. & detox juicing guide. Before you get excited, here’s some disappointing news: The amount of quinine found in tonic water is very low, meaning it isn’t enough to provide much protection against infections or other symptoms. Decreasing leg cramps; it was once available over the counter for this purpose but is no longer recommended due to concerns over efficacy and safety. When used to treat malaria, quinine is given in a pill form. While it was once used to manage painful, nocturnal (night time) leg cramps, the FDA banned over-the-counter sales of this compound because it has potential to be misused, is not always effective and can cause side effects. Calories 90 Kcal 5%. According to the FDA, quinine in tonic water is not harmful as long as it is present in amounts less than than 83 parts per million. Purified quinine and/or cinchona bark is used to flavor tonic water, many bitter liqueurs, and other beverages. The recommended quinine dosage for treatment of malaria is two or three 200-350 milligram tablets three times a day. Experts say a vaccination card helps keep track of your vaccines as well as provide proof that you've been inoculated. An eight-ounce glass would therefore have roughly 20 mg, about one-tenth … Quinine, when found in small doses in tonic water, is safe to consume. The jury is still out on whether or not chloroquine (and closely related hydroxychloroquine, or Plaquenil) may offer any hope to those who are very sick with respiratory infections, since these drugs have demonstrated immunosuppressive drug and also anti-parasite activities. It’s a beverage that originated in the 1800s that is made with the bitter compound quinine, plus sugar and sparkling water. The quinine in tonic water is used purely as a flavoring agent and is in such small amounts that it is considered safe for general consumption. That means one eight-ounce glass has about 20 mg. It originated from colonial India, where the British troupes had many troubles with malaria. Despite the low dose, however, many readers maintain that it works: Quinine in tonic water is diluted enough that serious side effects are unlikely. (Plus How to Eat for a Healthy Heart), Dangers of Energy Drinks + Healthy Alternatives to Boost Alertness. Quinine and tonic water have potential to react with some medications, so they should be avoided by people who take: (See more info here from the Cleveland Clinic regarding quinine interactions.). Helping treat malaria, a serious illness that causes a fever and is caused by a protozoan parasite (often found in tropical regions) that invades the red blood cells. Of course, doctors use it in much bigger doses than you’ll find in store-bought tonic waters. Quinine powder dissolves in water and is much easier to get down when it’s sweetened and masked. Dr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world...Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows tonic water to contain no more than 83 parts per million of quinine, because there can be side effects from quinine. Is quinine in tonic water bad for you? Since then it’s become well-known as an ingredient used to make “gin and tonics” and other (mostly alcoholic) beverages. Quinine is a compound with a bitter taste that is extracted from bark of the cinchona tree. The Food and Drug Administration banned quinine for this purpose, but continues to allow it in tonic water. The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It was crucial in reducing the death rate of workers building the Panama Canal in the early 20th century. All rights reserved. In the United States, the FDA limits the amount of quinine allowable in tonic water to about one-10th the prescription dose. A liter normally has 83 mg of quinine. This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information. The Truth About Oats & Gluten, Sucralose: 5 Reasons to Avoid This Artificial Sweetener, Chia Seeds Benefits: The Omega-3, Protein-Packed Superfood, 9 Proven Black Seed Oil Benefits that Boost Your Health, Top 15 Potassium-Rich Foods to Start Eating Today, 3-Day Cardiac Diet: Is It Safe? The FDA banned quinine for this purpose but continues to allow it in tonic water. The cinchona tree, sometimes called the “quinine plant,” is indigenous to parts of the world including Central and South America, Western Africa, and the Caribbean. I couldn’t find any sources that list the amount of Quinine is specific brands of tonic water. However, most tonic water today contains less quinine and is used mostly for its flavor, often enhanced by citrus favours. It was originally developed centuries ago as a medicine to fight malaria. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid quinine. Dysmetria is a lack of coordination caused by the cerebellum not functioning properly. Tonic water contains less than 20 milligrams of quinine per six fluid ounces. But if you're sick, chugging tonic water won't do much beyond keeping you hydrated. Tonic water is a sparkling beverage containing quinine, sugar, and water, along with other flavouring ingredients — it’s a bitter drink, thanks to the quinine. Cucumber Diet Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss? Isagenix Diet Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss? Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Most of the tonic drinks and gin have a regulated volume of quinine. Because there are a number of known quinine interactions, don’t drink more than small amounts of tonic water if you take daily medications unless you get your doctor’s approval first. Impoverished countries and also works against cramps that is made with the bitter compound quinine, sugar, and are! Building the Panama Canal in the 1850s a small amount regularly, just for the disease with... 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